Can I Put Neosporin on My Dog?

Surely at some point, you have gotten a cut or scrape and treated your wound with Neosporin and a regular old bandaid. Neosporin seems to be a kind of cure-all for abrasions, so it would make sense that we could use it on your dog too, right?

Unfortunately, Neospporin does not offer dog’s the same benefit that it provides humans. Perhaps instead of asking can I put Neosporin on my dog, we should be asking should I put Neosporin on my dog?

What is Neosporin Made of?

Neosporin consists of neomycin, polysporin, and bacitracin, which are three different types of antibiotics used to treat infection. Each of these three active ingredients is typically used as topical solutions and are all employed to help and defend against specific types of bacteria.  

Is it Safe to Use on My Dog?

While Neosporin is medically safe for your dog’s skin, it is potentially harmful if the drug is ingested orally. The active ingredients in Neosporin are explicitly formulated for human use and can be toxic if ingested, especially if your dog ingests it.

What Do I Do if My Dog Accidentally Ingested Neosporin?

Unless your dog consumed a large quantity of Neosporin, then there isn’t cause for concern. Monitor your dog for symptoms of gastrointestinal distress like canine vomiting or diarrhea, and if symptoms like violent shaking or dog seizures begin, then contact your vet immediately.

Why Does My Dog Lick Off the Ointment?

Your dog does not have an appetite for antibacterial ointment. Licking his wounds is a natural part of your dog’s instinctual healing process. As owners, we must be diligent in monitoring this behavior as too much licking can be a bad thing. 

The more your dog licks his wounds, the higher the risk of developing an infection. The constant introduction of friction and moisture that comes from licking will prevent the sore from healing properly, as cuts need time to dry up and scab over. 

How Do I Prevent My Dog From Licking?

There are many options to prevent your dog from licking, like keeping the wound covered, or putting your dog in a cone. There are also dog-specific ointments that have a terrible taste and smell which will deter your dog from licking.

How Do I Prevent Infection?

Scabs are the bodies natural bandaging system and an excellent way to keep infection out of the body. Once a scab has formed, the need for topical remedies reduces dramatically. The time to employ a topical ointment that fights infection is while the abrasion is still fresh and open. 

So Does Neosporin Work on Dogs?

Neosporin will work for your dog in the sense that it will prevent bacterial infection. However, Neosporin cannot defend against potentially harmful microbes like fungus and viruses which he is exposed to on a daily basis.

Are There Alternatives to Neosporin?

Vetericyn is an antimicrobial ointment that helps prevent infections in dogs, the same way Neosporin helps prevent infection in humans. The difference is that Vetericyn is formulated specifically for dogs.

What is an antimicrobial, and how does it differ from an antibiotic?

As we have already established, Neosporin is an antibiotic, meaning it only prevents bacterial infection. An antimicrobial solution, like Veterycin, is a broader measure that prevents contamination from bacteria, viruses, and fungi.  

Can I Just Hope the Cut Heals on its Own?

An open wound of any kind is an invitation for infection, especially if it goes untreated. While small cuts and scrapes can certainly go untreated and be just fine, employing the service of an antimicrobial is never a bad idea.

Should I Use Bandages?

For small cuts and scrapes where a topical ointment may be warranted, but bandages are typically just overkill. Remember, you want the cut or scrape to be able to breathe and scab to heal. If the wound seems like it needs a bandage, then it is probably time to go to the vet.

Keep in mind, we are only talking about small scrapes and cuts here. If your dog has a severe wound, it is crucial to take him to the vet or an animal ER immediately. Topical sprays and ointments will not be effective against more significant injuries.

Wrapping Up

If you have ever wondered, “Can I use neosporin on my dog”, the answer is a bit complicated.  There is a lot of information in this article about options for minor health care, but the truth is that you need to use your best judgment. While Neosporin can be used on dogs in a pinch, it is best not to use it at all, and certainly not for any kind of extended period. There are countless options when it comes to topical care for your dog’s wound, so best to avoid the Neosporin and employ the use of a product developed specifically for your dog.  

 

Sources:

Eastern Mediterranean Region. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.emro.who.int/health-topics/drug-resistance/what-is-the-difference-between-antibiotic-and-antimicrobial-resistance.html

Peña, M. (2019, July 23). Can You Put Neosporin on Dogs? What to Know About Neosporin on Dogs. Retrieved from https://www.dogster.com/lifestyle/is-neosporin-safe-for-dogs

Neosporin (Neo-Bac-Polym) Topical : Uses, Side Effects, Interactions, Pictures, Warnings & Dosing. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-3744/neosporin-neo-bac-polym-topical/details

Anastasio, A. (2018, September 21). Can You Use Neosporin on Dogs? Retrieved from https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/can-you-use-neosporin-on-dogs/

Peña, M. (2019, July 23). Can You Put Neosporin on Dogs? What to Know About Neosporin on Dogs. Retrieved from https://www.dogster.com/lifestyle/is-neosporin-safe-for-dogs

Brouhard, R. (2019, July 15). Should I Use Neosporin on a Cut? Retrieved from https://www.verywellhealth.com/should-i-use-neosporin-on-my-cut-1298910

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